Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Accomplished Writer?

Pr. 1:5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
The term leaped out at me like a fish springing out of water. ‘Accomplished writer’ stood there staring me in the face. “Wow,” I thought, “We have an accomplished writer among us?”

What does that term mean to you? Well it means more than being a writer. To me an accomplished writer means they have accomplished many goals in the writing world, such as having novels published by a literary firm, having many stories (short or flash) published, and having many years of study under their belt.

Being published in an anthology does not make you an accomplished writer. Having a book self published, does not make you accomplished, and not being paid for your writing talent does not make you, or give you the right to boast, “I am an accomplished writer!” If this were the case then by all means, I am an accomplished writer!

My goal AS a writer is to be published. Not just take the easy routes to publication but by tried and true efforts in advancing my writing. I want a publisher for my novel, I want to be paid for my poetry, even if it is five bucks and a free copy of a magazine, being paid for writing is my set goal.

I googled Accomplished Writer. A man came up with 68 articles and three novels published. He is an accomplished writer. I think of Stephen King as an accomplished writer, I think of  Dean Koontz, Orson Scott Card and oh so many other writers. But to be in a beginners course study, have a book self published, this does not make you an accomplished writer.

To even use the term as if you WERE an Accomplished Writer is deceptive and misleading the reader, falsifying the truth, boasting of something that just isn’t so, and thus leaving me, the reader thinking you’re a phony, who’s trying to be something that you are not, yet.

In writing, there is no shortcut to success. You can’t buy it, you can’t plant it in the garden and force it to bloom, and you can’t just say the words, and it will be so. People will find out the truth and you will be called on it and then you’ll be standing there holding a slimy ball of wax and all that Accomplished writing that you’ve never earned will melt away quicker than it took shape.

So please writers, wait until you really are an accomplished writer, before touting that you ARE an accomplished writer, then just maybe, I’ll believe you and read your book(s).


Alyssa Ast said...

I think you are absolutely right. I find many people labeling themselves with writing titles, such as a professional writer when they solely work for content mills. Until I have multiple published books that have landed on a best-seller's list, then will I consider myself an accomplished writer. But for now I am content with the fact I am just an experienced writer. Great post!

joni said...

Thank you Alyssa,
I was hoping I wasn't way out of line on this one, you know us writer's stick together? :)

But I do believe in credit when credit is due, whether it is us who brag or the top magazines doing it for us.

I don't believe in boasting of something I one day hope to be. lol If that were the case I'd say, Joni, the best accomplished writer on the planet. lol :)

Thanks again!

June said...

You always give me things to think about, Joni!

I've not thought much about what the title "accomplished writer" means, until now.

joni said...

I placed this in the f2k for a discussion and was surprised at the responses.

One lady said, "You're an accomplished writer if you write and accomplish something at the end of the day."???? I disagree.

Then there was the "I agree,an accomplished writer has to accomplish something."

Then I pointed out Harper Lee writing that one magnificent book.
BUT she paid her dues to the writing society.

So all in all I believe we do need to think of this. :)

Glad I made you think June.

M. SUE said...

I didn't see your F2K discussion. Seeing it here, though, my immediate thought that went hand-in-hand with "accomplished writer" was Marjorie Holmes". Enough said? Maybe not enough said. She not only writes; she inspires writers! In "Writing Articles From The Heart" she tells of learning that with the talent for writing lays 2 responsibilities: "to use it, and to use it for good." She goes on to quote a wise teacher regarding talent, "There is a duty." From the moment I read that (book published in 1993), it has stayed with me. To me, "published" makes up the surface view portion of being an author, but perhaps "seasoned" is akin to "accomplished".
Smiles~M. Sue

joni said...

This was spurned from someone in f2k, who is a beginner. She has self published a book, commented on it at amazon, gave it a five star rating, then comes into f2k and says she is an Accomplished Writer with a novel published.

It just began me thinking, what warrants an Accomplished Writer?

I say, accomplish something before boasting that you've accomplished something. ;)

M. SUE said...

Whoops! Well, I missed the earlier F2K postings and made my comments there this morning after I posted here. I stand by my statement and the more I think on "seasoned" and "accomplished", the better I like the similitude. Seasoned wood burns better you know.

joni said...

I like that Sue. A seasoned writer. That is what I am. For years I've been writing and studying the craft, the art, the syntax and rhythm of sentences appreciating every word and its place in a sentence.

But in no way am I an Accomplished Writer, YET! ;)

Lauren Alissa Hunter said...

Ai ya! I agree... (and also pine for the title of "accomplished writer") Far too many people easily toss this label around, to the point where I sort of find myself mumbling when people ask what "I do"... I don't think I'm yet able to even say "I'm a writer," much less an Accomplished one.

joni said...

Welcome Lauren,

Throwing around the title 'writer' is fine as long as you write more than letters. :) Even if you just write essays in your spare time, poetry, short stories, you ARE a writer. But I know what you mean about actually saying it to people. Had a real good post about that once.

As soon as you say, "I'm a writer." People ask, "Really? How much money did you make and where are you published?"

It's sad but true. But either way, I'm a writer. :)

Thanks for visiting!